neal bogart

“In late 1969, [DC Comics editorial director Carmine] Infantino was approached by bubblegum pop impresario Neil Bogart of Buddha Records.  Inspired by his arch-rival Don Kirschner’s recent success with The Archies, Bogart had conceived of a cartoon band of his own: a thinly disguised imitation of the Beatles called the Oliver Twists who would cash in on the current spate of Paul-McCartney-is-dead rumors with an album that would be titled "Dead Till Proven Alive."  Would DC be willing to launch the group in the pages of Batman? Bogart asked. Infantino quickly agreed and commissioned Neal Adams to prepare a cover.

"Although Adams’ hyper-realistic drawing style had made him DC’s pre-eminent artist of the era, his knowledge of rock & roll was meager; when the volatile Bogart saw his depiction of the Oliver Twists, he became enraged, as a handwritten memo dated November 21 demonstrates:

‘What kind of a goddamn rock group is that? Two guitars, the drummer from a high school marching band, and somebody in a Civil War outfit carrying a fucking autoharp ?  And the guy in front with the glasses looks like he went to Miami Beach and stole my Aunt Sadie’s muu-muu.  I come to you idiots with a brilliant idea, and this is what you give me in return?  Fuck you.' 

"Despite Infantino’s attempts to placate him, Bogart had lost interest in the project and Batman 222–containing a poorly-written tale in which it is revealed that three of the original band members have been killed and replaced with imposters by the group’s McCartney-esque leader–marked the Oliver Twists’ only appearance.”